iPhone Cinematography (tripod mounts/lenses/stabilization)

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by SicMX, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. SicMX, Feb 21, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011

    SicMX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #1
    I've started filming an motocross/mtb movie solely using the iPhone 4 and noticed that I need some additional accessories to do this.
    This includes:
    1) a tripod mount
    2) variety of lenses
    3) something to stabilize the iPhone when filming

    I’ve been quite busy browsing the web for the necessary accessories and have compiled a list (seen below) of what I have found.

    If you have used any of the following accessories or know of other accessories that one could use when creating a movie with the iPhone, it would be greatly appreciated!



    1. Tripod Mounts for iPhone 4

    1.1 Steadicam iPhone 4 Smoothee Mount $24,95

    [​IMG]



    1.2 Snapmount Tripod Mount for iPhone 4 $18,95

    [​IMG]



    1.3 The Glif $20,00

    [​IMG]



    1.4 eBay Tripod Mount for iPhone 4 $2-$4

    [​IMG]

    The eBay one is the only one i've tried and while it is ok, especially for the price, it is definitely not great.

    +Cheap
    +Will work with a case
    -First one broke within an hour of use
    -Doesn't hold the phone tight enough



    1.5 GorillaMobile for iPhone 4 $39.95

    [​IMG]

    This seems great for when you want to film from special angles, e.g. attach it to the branch of a tree and film from above.



    1.6 Kungl iPhone 4 Tripod Adapter/Mount $23,99 CAD



    1.7 Lummi - iStiki £11,50

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A very interesting tripod mount using suction cups!


    2. Lenses for iPhone 4 (some also work on other phones)

    2.1 Photojojo!Fisheye, Macro, and Wide Angle Camera Phone Lenses $40,00

    [​IMG]



    2.2 Magnetic / Detachable Wide Angle + Macro Lens for iPhone $16,99


    In 2.2 and 2.8 there is a magnetic ring that attaches to the iPhone 4 and it unfortunately it partly covers the flash. If you need the flash this is one solution and if the adhesive isn’t strong enough to securely hold the lens here is a solution for that too. Here is completely different solution that might also work fairly well.



    2.3 Wide Angle + Fish Eye + 12X Telephoto Lens Combo for iPhone 4G (Black) $79,99

    [​IMG]



    2.4 GSI Super Quality Detachable Wide Angle Lens for the iPhone 4 $19,99


    [​IMG]



    2.5 iPhone 4 Wide Angle Case $119,95

    [​IMG]




    2.6 Owle Bubo $169,95

    [​IMG]

    DSLR lens adapter for]DSLR lens adapter for Owle Bubo



    2.7 Wide Angle Lens and Back case for iPhone 4 $21.95




    2.8 Magnetic / Detachable 180° FishEye (0.28X) Lens for Apple iPhone 4 $24,99

    [​IMG]

    Not sure if the metallic ring has been pre-cut, but this is how it should look if you want the flash to work.



    2.9 Magnetic / Detachable Telephoto (2X) Lens for Apple iPhone 4 $14,99




    2.10 GSI Super Quality 8x Zoom for iPhone 4 $29,99




    2.11 GSI Super Quality Detachable Fisheye Lens for the iPhone 3G-3GS-4G $19,99




    2.12 Factron Quattro for iPhone HD $280 + the cost of the lenses which can be found here.

    [​IMG]



    2.13 Factron Quattro for iPhone SP $240 + lenses.

    [​IMG]




    3. Stabilization for iPhone 4

    3.1 Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone 4 $179,95

    [​IMG]



    3.2 IglooCase $57 (not released yet, Kickstarter)

    [​IMG]



    3.3 POM – Point of View Camera for iPhone $59 (not released yet, Kickstarter)

    [​IMG]



    3.4 WOXOM Glyde + Orbit $45 (not released yet, Kickstarter)

    [​IMG]



    3.5 Zgrip iPhone Pro $295,00




    3.6 Zgrip iPhone Cinema Kit $499,00

    [​IMG]




    Build your own stabilization device:

    AppAdvice Link

    Dad Labs Link The DIY Steady Cam rig is meant for a normal camcorder, but don't see why it wouldn't also work for the iPhone

    For external microphones check out this thread


    The app I use for filming is ProCamera because it has all the functionality one needs when filming (separate exposure/focus/wb).

    Additionally here are a couple of tips on how to create better footage.

    As mentioned before, if anyone has used any of these and would like to comment on how well they work it would be greatly appreciated! Alternatively if someone knows of other accessories or ideas to make filming with an iPhone 4 easier that would also be great.


    Thanks in advance,
    Andy
     
  2. Mac & Beanz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #2
    Excellent! I've been wondering about tripod mounts - and you've reduced my searching.

    Thanks!
     
  3. iamartimus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    #3
    Lots of great info! I have the ebay one, and mine is pretty tight. I had it for about 5 months and it still works fine, but you get what you pay for.

    I have been interested in those wide angle, fish eye, and especially the 12x telephoto lenses, but are they good? Anyone that tried the telephoto lens, does the pictures come out clear or blurry? Is it adjustable?
     
  4. weisjt macrumors 6502a

    weisjt

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Pines, North Carolina
    #4
    very nice post, lots of info. i have seen the 12x telephoto lense before but havent seen any fed back on it. thanks
     
  5. SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #5
    No worries! Hope to try some of these out to see which ones best suit my needs :)

    Yeah, with a little modification I might actually get it to work a bit better, and even with its flaws it's definitely worth the price

    Thanks! I have a feeling there will be a lot of vignetting or plain black when using the 12x zoom, but who knows? If I needed zoom i'd probably go for the 2x or maybe 8x instead
     
  6. genshi, Feb 22, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

    genshi macrumors 6502a

    genshi

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #6
    Great thread! I had posted on another couple of threads that I have the OWLE Bubo, but nobody seemed to care. I also have the EnCinema 35mm Adapter that allows you to attach SLR lenses to your OWLE Bubo. Here is the first test movie I did with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens attached to my iPhone 4 via the 35mm Adapter/Bubo rig; great shallow DOF and Rack Focusing for the iPhone!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e7G_wEZTR0

    If you noticed in the video, it's all very shaky as the Bubo/Adapter/Canon lens rig is kind of heavy and hard to hold with one hand while focusing with the other, so today my CowboyStudio Shoulder Support pad arrived. This thing is only 30 bucks but works great!

    Next on my list of things to get is the indiSLIDERmini which is basically a portable dolly system!

    Here is a photo of my Bubo/Adapter/Canon setup for my iPhone 4:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. SicMX, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011

    SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #7

    That's setup is amazing! I especially like the vivid colors and contrast in your YouTube video and the shallow depth of field is incredible!

    The shakiness is definitely a challenge, not just for the iPhone, but any camcorder. I'm gonna try to build some sort of a SteadiCam rig, because I need to get rid of the shakiness altogether.

    I would really like to get the EnCinema 35mm adapter, but the price is pretty steep. Buying a secondhand one would be the ideal solution, but I don't think I'll find any. On the other hand I have a bunch of old manual focus Nikkors so I wouldn't have to invest anything in the lenses.

    That indiSLIDERmini is definitely great and if I can't build one that works well enough, i'll have to buy one =)

    What's the quality when filming with the Owle Bubo compared to using the iPhone 4 "naked"? Also are there any other lenses available for the Bubo?
     
  8. Retrosonic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    #8
    All in one Lens?

    Great Thread, guys!!

    I too am just starting to explore iphone cinematography.

    If a person just wanted to buy one lens, for all picture taking and movie making, what should he buy?

    thanks....keep the pics and descriptions coming...these are awesome!!
     
  9. genshi, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011

    genshi macrumors 6502a

    genshi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #9
    Thanks for the kind words on my video. I was actually surprised at how shallow the depth of field was and how colorful, but then remembered that, with this setup, the iPhone is shooting through 3 macro lenses and a wide angle lens to focus on the ground glass plate of the Adapter... that's a lot of glass! And the iPhone isn't really looking through the Canon lens, but focusing on the image the Canon lens projects onto the glass plate inside of the Adapter, hence the wonderful color saturation (there was no post-processing at all done to this video; all shot on the iPhone 4 and then edited in the iMovie app on the iPhone.)

    The OWLE Bubo on it's own does improve video recording for the iPhone a bit. The 1 macro and 1 wide-angle lens somehow gives better clarity or something (can't quite put my finger on it, but it just looks more clear and better contrast than the iPhone on its own) and I like the slightly wide-angle of view with the OWLE Bubo, even for taking still photos, like this one that I took with the Hipstamatic app through the Bubo:

    [​IMG]
    Video of this shoot with the Bubo, but without the Adapter/Canon lens.

    As for the adapter, when you look at it close, it really is kind of homemade looking. You could probably make one yourself. It's just an extension tube with a $30 ground glass plate "taped" onto the back of the extension tube. Then they also send you two more macro lenses which is needed behind the Bubo's own macro and wide-angle lens so the iPhone can focus properly onto the glass plate (they apparently did a lot of experimentation with this to get it just right.) When shooting video, you also have to use the app called Almost DSLR as this app allows you to flip the image right-side up as you are viewing (since the image you are shooting will be upside down; no prisms for your SLR lens) and lets you set and lock the focus and exposure, which is great!

    The Bubo comes with a 37mm thread so any lens that has that threading can be mounted onto the Bubo. And the front of the Bubo's wide-angle lens has a 49mm thread, so again, any lens or filter with that threading...
     
  10. SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #10
    I haven't tried the OWLE Bubo myself, but if you want quality that will most likely be your best bet! Look at the samples in genshi's comments. They look really promising (both the video and photos)
     
  11. SicMX, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #11
    Thanks for shedding some light on how the optics work in your lens setup! Didn't even think about the fact that the image is rotated when using a SLR lens. This also explains how the DOF can be so small, regardless of the small sensor in the iPhone 4.

    The YouTube video is incredible, both the video, music and still footage! Did you actually shoot the still images with the iPhone? I'm getting more and more tempted to get this setup.

    In the YouTube video I noticed some vignetting in the beginning of the video, but after 3:26 it disappears. I'm guessing the vignetting was added in the postproduction (together with softened feel and less FPS)? The technical quality after 3:26 is amazing. Just watched the video in 720p and can't see any vignetting and only a tiny amount of edge softess in the extreme corners. Very impressive and no wonder that South Korean director used the Bubo when shooting the horror film :)

    I also checked out your images on flickr and you got some pretty impressive stuff over there! I especially like the iPhone, Holga and Pinhole albums. Really creative stuff. I shoot a lot of 6x6 myself (Rolleiflex and Hasselblad) because there is something magical about thae square format.
     
  12. genshi, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    genshi macrumors 6502a

    genshi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #12
    :) Thanks man, I really do appreciate that! My main thing is actually music, though I've also been doing photography for awhile, but I am just now getting into the whole cinematography side of things (something I've been wanting to do for decades!)

    Yes, all the still images were shot with the iPhone 4, through the OWLE Bubo using the Hipstamatic app (with the Melodie Lens and Claunch Film settings.)

    The Broken Heart Robot video; there was no post-processing at all and all the vignetting is a natural phenomenon of using the Adapter/Canon lens setup.

    The Railyard video however is a bit different and you are exactly right. I post-processed with the CinemaFX Video app for the iPhone to give it the "1970s Dust" (and lower fps) feel as well as the "Vignette" look, but then purposely switched over at around the 3:26 mark to the non-fx-processed footage to reveal clarity as the L.A. Downtown skyline was revealed. The frustrating thing when I looked back at all the footage was how shaky it all was, even with the OWLE Bubo, but then I remembered, I was walking over uneven, thick gravel and train tracks... so I guess it can't really be helped without a Steadicam system or something. Oh, and in the part of the video where the actual video becomes kind of square and starts "flickering" a bit, that was done with the 8mm Vintage Camera app, and the brief bit of time-lapse with me running around in high-speed was the ReelMoments app... I swear there is nothing you can't do on the iPhone these days!

    I actually can't wait to see that South Korean director's final results of his shoot. I had seen the "making of" awhile back, pretty cool stuff!

    And yeah, I love shooting 6x6. I wish I had a Hasselblad or Rolleiflex, but just the Holga and a Seagull for now. I'm really in love with Rangefinders as well, so I am really, REALLY wanting the new Fujifilm GF670 camera; a medium format (6x6 and 6x7) rangefinder compact camera with a collapsable lens! Doesn't get much better than that! The only thing stopping me (besides my recent extreme lack of funds) is that I have been shooting so many photos on my iPhone 4, all my other cameras are now collecting dust. Kind of sad really, but, the iPhone 4 really changed things imho, which is why there are now so many galleries and magazines that are exhibiting "iPhone only" photography these days ( I'm having my second group showing next month!)

    Thanks again for all the kind words and support!
     
  13. weisjt macrumors 6502a

    weisjt

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Pines, North Carolina
    #13
    i hade no idea iphone could take pics like that. nice stuff guys
     
  14. SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #14
    For anyone interested: iPhone Film Festival

    My favorites from the ones submitted are:

    Paranmanjang (Horror Movie directed by renowned South Korean movie director Chan-wook Park)
    Magny iPhone Session (BMX film directed by Hadrien Picard)
    Formiga (by Ricardo Mello)
    Perfection (cinematography by Thomas Kruesselmann)
    Golden Harvest (documentary)
    Vintage Trouble (music video by Alen Petkovic)
    Catch the Storm (8mm video by Sascha Kleerebezem)

    and another great music video filmed with the iPhone 4:

    Flakjakt - Cascades (music video by Marty Martin)
     
  15. deweyjohnson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #15
    yeah, i agree with you. great job for collecting so much information, and thanks for sharing.:D
     
  16. SicMX thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #16
    No worries :)

    Will share some thoughts on the equipment we will use and the filming process in general as things get rolling!
     
  17. weisjt macrumors 6502a

    weisjt

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Pines, North Carolina
    #17
    it would be nice if they had a more affordable snap case with the lens attachment but also a tripod connector. anything like this that you know of?
     
  18. Roadking macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #18
    OP,

    nice job with all that information you provided. That took quite some time.
     
  19. SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #19
    The only cheap solution is to get the snap case and buy the cheap eBay tripod mount (this one should work with almost any case as it's not made explicitly for the iPhone 4)
     
  20. SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #20
    Cheers!

    PS. Yup :D
     
  21. BuiltforSin macrumors regular

    BuiltforSin

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    Aug 22, 2009
    Location:
    VA
    #21
    This is seriously ****ing awesome! Thank you so much for posting this! :apple:
     
  22. Retrosonic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    #22
    Basic question

    Guys, just a very basic question:

    Are most Iphone movie makers using iphone apps to process and edit their movies, OR, are they dumping the video to their home MAC machine and editing and doing their post on there?

    thanks,

    Retro
     
  23. weisjt macrumors 6502a

    weisjt

    Joined:
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    #23
    just picked up a owle bubo cant wait for it to get here.
     
  24. theautopilot macrumors 6502a

    theautopilot

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #24
    Good thread.

    I went for the cheap eBay option, but threw the legs away and attached to a GorillaPod.

    Its mad people would spend $500+ non gear for their iPhone, you could buy a much better camera than the iPhone for that money. But hey ho.
     
  25. SicMX thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #25
    Pretty sure they are editing it in iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Don't see a point in editing it on the iPhone, iPad maybe...
     

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